Day 20.5: A Disclaimer for the Immature Among You

21 Oct

Because I am the first American to try out this fine institution, and only the second English only speaker, I feel it a real burden to report each occurrence as it comes.  Future HSCTers and the morbidly curious deserve candid truth. This post comes with it, but I should warn parents of the young and immature to simply cover their eyes and say, “Miss Amy had a rough day.  All’s well now.”

One of the delicate issues of having chemotherapy is that it does a good deal of damage to the lining of your intestines.  The good doctors here will counteract that damage as best they can with medication and a diet completely void of fiber.  This is very nice of them, as I have always appreciated the workings of my intestines and I agree that they should be protected.

As the days of chemo continued, I began to notice a bit of constipation and I mentioned this to the good Dr. Fedorenko, who immediately returned with a bottle of laxatives I was to take three times daily.  That’s great!  Here I am, being a proactive patient, stating my needs and getting a solution.

Three days pass, and nothing else does.  Today being my first day at zero leukocyte level means that I also began getting the daily injections of stem cell mobilizers, to grow my new immune system.  I believe we have already covered that this is a painful process for some, and it surely is for me.

Now, listen, I have been constipated before.  Who hasn’t?  But today, I was in bed, crying and wondering why on earth my body had turned so against me.  The leg spasms from the injections and the sheer agony in my belly were, frankly, more than I imagined I would have to bear for hours on end.

The good doctor visited and said that he had other options.  I may have jumped on it right away, but there was something about his Russian accent and the steepling of his fingers that made me think I was going to just try and ride it out.

About two hours laters, I finally rang the nurse and she arrived with a do it yourself suppository.  I quickly went to Dr.Google to get the advice needed in English and found myself relatively comfortable within about a half hour.  Legs are still in a bit of agony from the stem cells charging to their homes, but I kind of like knowing that’s going on.  I will likely receive a mild pain shot for that shortly, followed by a mild sedative, and then I can put this whole truly miserable day to rest.

To the future HSCTers out there: don’t fear intervention.  They are kind here and they really do want to help.

To all my gallant Facebook friends who immediately began to pray for my comfort, not knowing the less than pleasant details, I thank you.  Your prayers made me brave enough to call that nurse.  I love you all.  Mean it.

7 Responses to “Day 20.5: A Disclaimer for the Immature Among You”

  1. Brooke Slick October 21, 2012 at 10:59 am #

    I truly value your candid approach and find it rare and priceless information for those of us following your brave journey. You’ve made us more and more aware that HSCT is not for sissys, nor is MS. So, I say this in a very Halloweeny/ghostlike tone…SISSYS BEWARE!!!!!

    • ericswife October 21, 2012 at 11:02 am #

      Hey, it is a terrible club to be in, but the company is fantastic. Happy to assist in any way I can, even at my own slight loss of dignity. Soldier on!

  2. Linda Luckstead Benskin October 21, 2012 at 11:06 am #

    Amy, I am so glad you were brave enough to take care of this! The pain medications and sedentary nature of your mission are a setup for tummy trouble, even without the fiber-free diet. Be sure to ask for assistance again if you need it. As a nurse, I KNOW that patients often complain more of the abdominal cramps from constipation and gas than they do of their surgical pain. I will continue to pray especially for your tummy to stay happy until you have been in the USA for several weeks, because travel is difficult on tummies too. Love you. Mean it.

    • ericswife October 21, 2012 at 11:20 am #

      Love you too, dear nurse. Mean it.

  3. Janelle October 21, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    Gee, all of your many replies have been so spot on, so filled with the right words, I want to say al of those words to you also….I guess I just did!!! You are again an inspiration and I am grateful that you are and will continue to be touching lives.

  4. Laura H... October 21, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

    I am so glad you are feeling a bit better Amy! That is some tough stuff. Hang in there, Ninja! It’ll be over before too long. Love you!!!!

  5. Stacy Courtney October 21, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

    Still praying, friend.

Honest Truth About Me: I'm going to need a lot of cheer leading to see this through. Your comments and encouragement mean the world to me.

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